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Pyotr Verzilov, a member of the Russian protest band Pussy Riot who fell seriously ill in Moscow two weeks ago, says he believes he was poisoned by agents working for the Kremlin.

Verzilov, speaking in an interview with the BBC after being released from a hospital in Berlin on Wednesday, blamed Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU, saying: "The poisoning was carried out so professionally that no other conclusion is possible."

Wartime Sins And Secrets Haunt 'Transcription'

Sep 27, 2018

Juliet Armstrong was a spy.

Is a spy, will forever be a spy. During the war, in London, 1940, she worked as a typist for MI5, was lifted out of the obscurity of the secretarial pool to be the audio transcriptionist for an operation meant to ensnare British fifth columnists itching for the day that the Wehrmacht marched down the streets of London, then put into the field to infiltrate their anti-Semitic ranks in person.

The chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has stepped down amid allegations that he ordered the firing of journalists deemed too critical of the government.

Justin Milne resigned his post as the head of the independent, government-funded network after "his board turned against him and staff threatened to walk off the job," The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Yowza! 300 New Words Added To Scrabble

Sep 27, 2018

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Since Amazon announced Tuesday that sportscasters Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer would become the first all-women team to call NFL games, the pair has faced public backlash.

Country music is a genre whose stars tend to grasp the importance of maintaining their fans' trust. Even so, few country luminaries can match the shrewdness and dedication with which Eric Church has cultivated his fans' belief in him. Over the past dozen years, he's fleshed out a heroic image alongside a meaty catalog, inextricably entwining the two.

When Murphy Brown premiered in 1988, Murphy's personality, full as it was of stubbornness, ego, brilliance, defiance, independence and a lack of concern with being liked, was a revelation. Her existence, her very presence on television as a recovering alcoholic who had stopped drinking but had no desire to stop being what other people considered "difficult," was inspiring. She was confident, and she was loved. She was impolite, and she was great at her job. She was loud, and she was the hero.

A Flint native who's become a staple of Detroit's music scene, Tunde Olaniran knows his way around hyphens: A singer-rapper-activist-choreographer-producer-you-name-it, he presides over a bighearted sound and style that revolve around spirited statements of affirmation, a sprawling artistic palette and the pursuit of boldness in every sense of the word.

Cardi B's Billboard No. 1 song "I Like It" samples Pete Rodriguez's 1967 boogaloo hit "I Like It Like That." Just as the song's chart-topping success is emblematic of hip-hop's current absorption of reggaeton, the 1967 hit capitalized on a moment in New York history created by Latin voices.

Music came naturally to Jon Batiste, the leader of Stay Human, the house band for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Growing up outside of New Orleans as part of a large musical family, he says, "I picked up on all of these things that are integral to who I am as a musician without necessarily studying them."

There's always a hint of transcendence in Robyn's music. It's why "Dancing On My Own" was such a perfect choice to soundtrack a moment of totally un-self-conscious, all-consuming, youthful freedom on the first season of HBO's Girls, as two of the titular characters dance around a Brooklyn bedroom, shaking off pain and heartbreak and awkward medical diagnoses. Sure, it's a limited liberation: the kind accessed by straight white girls who can afford health care and Brooklyn apartments.

Join Fiona Ritchie for a chance to explore more highlights from the past decade of radio shows. This week, we feature music and interviews with Solas, William Jackson and Archie Fisher.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Aimé Mpane remembers when he first saw the old statues.

It was 1994, and the Congolese visual artist had just moved to Belgium, which once ruled his country. Growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mpane says he had been taught in school that the Congolese were descended from the Gauls — "that they were our kings."

"In our schoolbooks, it was as if the Congolese did not exist without Belgian colonialists," says Mpane, 50. His work explores the memory of colonialism in Congo and Belgium. "I wanted to know what [the Belgians] knew about us."

Philosophy professor John Kaag's 2016 book, American Philosophy, was a heady mix of memoir and intellectual history wrapped up in a romantic story of a lost library and new love. In Hiking with Nietzsche, he tries to repeat this feat by chronicling his return — with his second wife and their toddler daughter — to the scene of his near-fatal teenage attempt to follow Nietzsche's trail and thought processes through the Swiss Alps.

ElfQuest is something unique in the world of comics: It's one of the longest-running fantasy series ever — and it's been the passion project of just two people for its whole life.

There were few comics shops, fewer conventions, and not a lot of women were making comics when creators Wendy and Richard Pini began their epic quest in 1978. But now that quest is over, and they're on a farewell tour called Forty Years of Pointed Ears.

A Very Shatner Christmas

Sep 26, 2018

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Rachel Martin. And I know we all hate when Christmas stuff pops up in stores before Halloween, but William Shatner doesn't care. The "Star Trek" legend is a man of many talents.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JINGLE BELLS")

John C. Reilly On 'The Sisters Brothers'

Sep 26, 2018

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Editor's note: This review includes a brief account of a character's suicide attempt.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Reporter's Notebook: North Korea

Sep 25, 2018

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Should you happen to be planning a trip to North Korea, you'll have a few logistical hurdles to clear. There is the fact that the State Department bans U.S. passport holders from traveling there.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The Wood Brothers On Mountain Stage

Sep 25, 2018

With brothers Chris Wood on bass and Oliver Wood on lead vocals and guitar, along with Jano Rix (who expertly plays percussion and keyboards and sings, simultaneously), The Wood Brothers is one of the most exciting bands to experience live. You'll hear rich harmonies, unwavering grooves and some intense, searing guitar work throughout this set, recorded during their third Mountain Stage appearance in June 2018.

Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis come from different generations, but both play the old style of country music — her brother is Jerry Lee Lewis. They share songs and stories from their new album, Wild! Wild! Wild!

Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer will become the first female announcing team to cover an NFL game this Thursday, with Amazon Prime Video offering the pair as an online alternative to the Fox broadcast crew of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.

"Teaming up with Hannah and Amazon for this is truly special," Kremer said in a news release. "Hannah is a brilliant journalist and she has been a friend for many years. With decades of experience as storytellers, we will be bringing a different voice and viewpoint to covering the game of football."

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

It took British artist Jason deCaires Taylor nine months to develop his latest work: a 20-foot-tall stainless steel cube decorated with life-size human statues and semi-submerged in a coral lagoon in crystal blue waters off the Maldives islands.

But it took the Maldivian police just a few hours to wreck it.

You probably thought that the existing Coldplay version of the Coldplay song "Fix You" — which, by the way, I love — was maudlin enough for any montage-accompaniment needs you could possibly have.

This is because you have not seen NBC's New Amsterdam, which premieres Tuesday night.

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